April 18, 2024

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Former Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri believes that Mumbai Indians fans need to be patient with skipper Hardik Pandya and stop booing him during the IPL 2024 matches. Hardik replaced Rohit Sharma as the MI captain after completing a sensational trade from Gujarat Titans but under his leadership, the team has lost three consecutive matches in the competition. The reaction from a section of the crowd has been less than favourable as Hardik was booed during the home match against Rajasthan Royals. Shastri said that Hardik is a new captain and at the end of the day, the fans need to be remember that the all-rounder is a “human being like them”.

“You have supported the team over the years. In just 2-3 matches, they won’t be a bad team. They are 5-time champions, after all, they have a new captain. Just be patient, you know the bloke you’re getting after is a human being like you. At the end of the day, he has to sleep in the night. So just think about it, be calm,” Ravi Shastri said on Star Sports.

“My thing to Hardik would be ‘calm, patient, ignore and then just focus on your game’. You get a couple of performances going.. they are a terrific side, if they win 3-4 matches, everything will subside. You will, things will change,” he added.

Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya on Tuesday asserted that the former champions will not give up and will continue to fight in the ongoing IPL despite slumping to a hat-trick of defeats.
“If there’s one thing you should know about this team, we never give up. We’ll keep fighting, we’ll keep going,” Hardik posted on X.

Hardik has been facing the ire of fans since replacing Rohit Sharma as MI captain. The all-rounder was booed in the team’s opening two matches and the crowd hostility was at its peak in MI’s first home game of the season on Monday.

To add to the woes, under his captaincy MI’s campaign at the 2024 IPL got off to a disastrous start as they sit at the bottom of the table following three losses on the trot.

However, MI are known to be perennial slow starters. In 2015, they lost the first four games before going on to win the title.

Hardik’s poor captaincy calls have also been questioned — whether it was not giving Bumrah the new ball or sending Tim David ahead of himself against Gujarat Titans.

The change in captaincy has not sat well with the legions of MI supporters. On Monday, chants of ‘Rohit Rohit’ filled the Wankhede with the Indian captain himself asking the crowd not to jeer Hardik.

Mumbai Indians will next face Delhi Capitals at home on Sunday.

(With PTI inputs)

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